Posts Tagged ‘egypt’

Euphoria A La Egypt

After 18 days of protests, a victory we hope prevails.

Suhaib Salem / Reuters

Revolution In 140 Characters

Revolution is seldom neat. It rarely even makes it out the gate before being brutally repressed. In the upheavals of yore, state controlled media and communications networks typically made information a scarce commodity, but in the age of our good friends Twitter and Facespace there’s a whole lot of potential for organization, sharing, and demonstration with purpose.

We saw the dissemination of information via social media force some ugly moves in Iran some years back. And though there is much debate as to what role Twitter and Co. played in the recent Tunisian protests, no one’s denying that it gave vox to the populi.

In Egypt’s case, Hosni and his regime weren’t able to keep up with the characters and were forced to pull the plug.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Lucky for us they’ve sorta been unsuccessful. The eager-to-please-a-protester techies at Google and Twitter joined forces to make a “speak-to-tweet” service happen for any of the Egyptian dissidents wanting access to revolution in 140 characters.

How’s it work?

Anyone inside Egypt can totally use their “phone” to make a “phone call” to a messaging service, leave a message, and the tweet self-generates with an “#egypt” tag. Sans interwebs! And it can (between you and me and the Internet) totally be OVER 140 characters.

Google set up a blog about the new service on Monday. As of Friday morning, @speak2tweet already had close to 3000 submissions.

Viva la revolution!

Double-Down Friday: Al-Jazzy-Era

Music has long been a bridge between peoples and cultures and in the modern era, this is increasingly true. (Remember that movie where the Egyptian police band gets stranded in Israel? Or that movie where the camel weeps to the soft ‘hoos’ of musicians?)

Today, music is more globally accessible, and therefore more relatable to seemingly disparate peoples and places. As an American, this is especially evident in the middle and near east.

When journalist Gregory Warner (GlobalPost) brought his accordian to Afghanistan, he probably didn’t expect it to be such a powerful instrument of good. Watch:

But it isn’t just the Man In Black who transcends geographic and cultural borders. Counter-culture, of all things, seems to trump accepted culture in its ability to cross the divide between peoples. Take a look at these two photos:

I spy a Rancid shirt.

One of these photos was taken in Casablanca, Morocco. The other, well, wasn’t. If you can’t tell (I don’t really blame you) click to find out which is which and read about a recent heavy metal festival that took place in the North African nation.

So, what can be made of these musical connections we share with foreign peoples? Well, maybe music needs to play a greater role in popular diplomacy. Maybe we need to know how many other foreign leaders listen to Pink Floyd. And maybe, just maybe, Bono does deserve to be a U.N. goodwill ambassador.

(Credit: Gert Van Langendonck / For the LA Times).